Some recent items on serious games and conflict simulations that may be of interest to our readers:
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At Slate, Rebecca Onion discusses a 1940s board game for French kids that taught tactics for successful colonialism. You’ll find additional detail at the blog of the Getty Research Institute:
Made in France at the outbreak of World War II, the game sought to educate children about the colonial world supporting the French economy. With tokens printed in vivid colors to represent places and natural resources in regions colonized by the French, from North Africa to Oceania to southeast Asia, this game encapsulated the mighty business opportunities that lay ahead for adventurous explorers willing to embark for faraway colonial lands.
As described in the rules at the center of the board, the underlying purpose of the game was to admire, through play, the greatness of the French colonial undertaking. The colonization of a land was symbolically achieved first by hoisting the French flag on its soil, then by the establishment of a hospital, a school, and ultimately a harbor. But the ultimate win was to export the rich natural resources of the colonies back to France by boat. Images on the game provide a vivid picture of the vast variety of resources, including animals, plants, and minerals, that the colonies provided to France from all around the globe.
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Todd Mason and Mariana Zafeirakopoulos are hoping to organize a Connections conference for wargaming professionals in Australia, following the model of the successful US and now UK versions. For further information, see the announcement at Wargaming Connection.
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At his Sources and Methods blog, Kris Wheaton uses computer modelling to simulate the possible future flow of Syrian refugees in Turkey.
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The University of Minnesota will be holding their 2014 “Disaster Camp” on 5-7 September 2014:
Disaster Camp is an overnight experience that allows participants to see firsthand what it might feel like to be on the ground during a humanitarian crisis situation. Participants learn how to provide leadership in such a scenario and to maximize the effectiveness of humanitarian program interventions .
Further details can be found here.
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The December/January newsletter of the US Department of Defense Modelling & Simulation Coordination Office is now available. (Well, it was available last month, but we’ve been slow in posting the news!)
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The Reacting to the Past project has a series of forthcoming conferences and workshops:
We now look forward to our spring series of conferences and workshops. Registration is open for a Regional Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN | March 14-16), which will feature Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 and Mexico in Revolution, 1911-1920 (game under review). The priority registration deadline is February 24, 2014.
Program details are also available for the Fourteenth Annual Faculty Institute at Barnard College (New York, NY | June 5-8). We invite individual faculty and/or teams to share their experiences with RTTP at the institute by submitting a concurrent session proposal. Proposals can reflect the variety of ways in which individual instructors or programs are using RTTP games to achieve outcomes for their institutions, to engage faculty, to rejuvenate teaching and learning, or to develop/revise new curricular programs. The proposal deadline is March 31, 2014.
Faculty interested in game design are encouraged to participate in the annual Game Development Conference (GDC) at Simpson College(Indianola, IA | July 17-19); please refer to the GDC call for proposals for details on how to apply for a play-testing or presentation slot. The“Reacting to the Past” Editorial Board also seeks nominations for a new member, whose term will begin in 2014-15. The nomination deadline is April 1, 2014.